American Christians Are Victims?
Have you heard the news?
Christians in America are now becoming the victims of hostility because a growing number of Americans are exercising their First Amendment rights by demanding separation between church and state.
That’s how the Family Research Council and the Liberty Institute see it. And they’re whining loudly about it in a new report that concludes there’s been a rising pattern of hostility toward Christians in America over the past decade.
Their 140-page "Survey of Religious Hostility in America," cites more than 600 examples illustrating what it characterizes as religious animosity shown by judges, government bureaucrats, schools and secular groups.
"It's way beyond anything we had imagined. It's so much more prolific than it's ever been before," groused Kelly Shackelford, president of the Liberty Institute.
“It’s a conflict of world views," said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council. "These groups want people to check their faith at the door of the public square.”
Is that so?
This is the kind of stuff they’re crying about:
A Junior-Senior High School valedictorian in Victor, Iowa was told by school authorities that his graduation speech had to be “secular” in nature against his wishes to attribute his academic success to his faith in Jesus Christ.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ordered the removal of a Christian Cross from a government sponsored veterans' memorial on public property in San Diego, holding that it was unconstitutional because it violated the Establishment Clause.
An 8-year-old girl was not permitted to sing "Kum Ba Yah" at a government sponsored Boys and Girls Club in Port Charlotte, Fla., because the song includes the words "Oh, Lord."
A nurse at a government funded hospital was threatened with job termination and loss of license unless she participated in a late-term abortion procedure against her religious convictions.
Public school teachers have been barred from leading prayers with students in the classroom, and students have been told that they may not proselytize their religion in the classrooms during school hours.
And, of course, there’s Obama Care, which would have religious institutions that are not churches provide insurance coverage for contraception to their employees.
These findings and others of similar nature in the report have those who commissioned it shocked – shocked – at what they describe as a pattern of unprecedented hostility toward religion in America.
The report was presented in Tampa just ahead of this week's Republican National Convention. The goal is to raise awareness of these incidents to promote the appointment of judges "who are sensitive to the Constitution," said Shackelford.
Obviously, Shackelford really wants a Republican president to appoint judges who will ignore the United States Constitution First Amendment Establishment Clause and tear down the wall separating church and state which was plainly intended by our nation’s founders.
He wants the United States government and the governments of all the 50 states to sponsor and promote the Christian religion. He demands that our nation become a Christian nation, and anyone who has the nerve to oppose his demands is deemed “hostile” to religion.
Perkins declared that the secular nation that church/state separatists seek was never envisioned by the Founding Fathers, and will not come to be. "That's not the future of our country," he insisted.
These guys don’t know the meaning of hostility toward religion. They actually think that the First Amendment is hostile toward their religion. They cannot or will not grasp the reality that the First Amendment is the greatest government friend their religion ever had because it protects it against government hostility.
Hostility is what happened to the Jews in Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Hostility is being rounded up by the government and forced into concentration and slave labor camps. Hostility is being shot, gassed, or starved to death and then cremated in ovens for the “crime” of being Jewish.
Hostility does not involve being prohibited from proselytizing Christianity in a public school. It’s not about removing government sponsored Christian crosses from public property, or insisting that a nurse do her job at a hospital or work somewhere else.
The United States government is hardly being hostile toward religion by exempting churches from paying property and income taxes. What kind of hostility is that? All they have to do to enjoy those exemptions is keep their clerical noses out of politics while preaching to their flocks.
But they can’t even do that.
Former Arkansas governor and TV personality, Mike Huckabee, initiated a conference call last Friday with hundreds of Baptist pastors and Christian talk radio hosts in Missouri to coordinate a defense of Rep. Todd Akin as he faces pressure from Republicans to drop his Senate candidacy.
Huckabee at one point compared the National Republican Senatorial Committee to "union goons" who "kneecap" their enemies. Party bosses are "opening up rounds and rounds" of ammunition on Akin and "then running over with tanks and trucks and leaving him to be ravaged by the other side." “This is unprecedented, to see to this orchestrated attempt to humiliate and devastate a fellow Republican,” Huckabee told the pastors.
Now, of course, there is nothing at all wrong with Huckabee exercising his right to free speech, but he encouraged the pastors to aggressively defend Akin to their congregations. Pastors have free speech rights too, just like everyone else, but as soon as they start preaching politics from their pulpits their churches should lose their tax exempt status just like everyone else.
I suppose Huckabee would decry that as hostility toward religion too, but one fact is abundantly clear:
American Christians are not victims.